Robert Allen Palmer (January 19, 1949 - September 26, 2003), born in Batley, Yorkshire, England, was a British singer. He was known for his soulful voice and the eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, blues, and even yodelling.
The son of a British serviceman stationed in Malta, Palmer moved with his family to Scarborough, Yorkshire in 1959. Influenced as a child by blues, soul, and jazz music on American Forces Radio, Robert Palmer joined his first band, Mandrake Paddle Steamer, at the age of 15 while still an art student at Scarborough Technical College. His first major break came with the departure of singer Jess Roden from the band The Alan Bown Set in 1969, after which Palmer was invited to London to sing on their single "Gypsy Girl". The vocals for the album The Alan Bown!, originally recorded by Roden (and released in the US that way), were re-recorded by Palmer after the success of the single.
In 1970, Palmer joined the 12-piece jazz-rock fusion band Dada, which featured singer Elkie Brooks. The band lasted a year, after which Brooks and Palmer formed the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful rhythm and blues group, Vinegar Joe; Palmer sang and played rhythm guitar. Signed to the Island Records label, they released three albums: Vinegar Joe (1972), Rock 'n' Roll Gypsies (1972), and Six Star General (1973).
On the basis of his youthful looks, strong stage presence, and soulful voice, Island Records ...